Riot delivers League of Legends apology, discusses new game mode

Riot Games delivers a League of Legends apology following disappointment around the Season Start cinematic and events, announcing a new mode for the MOBA game

League of Legends apology - Jeremy 'Brightmoon' Lee in the Riot Games office, from a video posted to the LoL Twitter

A League of Legends apology video from Riot Games says it “failed to deliver some stuff that really matters” as the team discusses the state of LoL and how it is working to improve for the future and maintain League’s position as one of the best MOBA games on PC. In an eight-minute long video, Riot says it wants to “talk a bit about some of the mistakes we’ve made,” including but not limited to the League of Legends 2023 cinematic that left fans disappointed with its uninspired design.

In the video, League of Legends executive producer Jeremy ‘Brightmoon’ Lee and the head of League Studio Andrei ‘Meddler’ van Roon sit down in the Riot Games development studio in a straightforward, low-key presentation to deliver a frank assessment of the current state of League of Legends. “It’s kind of all coming to a head now,” Lee remarks, “because Season Start is supposed to be this hype, epic, exciting moment that we’re all looking forward to. Frankly, we missed on your expectations there.”

The pair acknowledge that the past year has been one of ups and downs. “The state of the game, both right now and for a little while, hasn’t been what it should be,” van Roon continues, “We’ve heard that from you and we quite agree with it.” He notes that the LoL durability update last year and Worlds “were both excellent” but says, “there’s a lot of other stuff where we have, by contrast, dropped the ball,” citing the cinematic, a lack of new game modes, and overly formulaic events as key examples.

Speaking about the cinematic specifically, van Roon says, “We fully planned to have a cinematic like we have done in previous years for this year’s Season Start, with the champion focus, big epic moments sort of thing.” He continues, “We had the budget for that, we had the right team on that… but we failed to deliver.” He commits to a champion-led cinematic for next year.

Talking about how the team could have been more up-front with the state of the cinematic ahead of its release, van Roon adds, “We want to do a much better job of talking with you folks.” Communication is a key part of managing community expectations, and the pair acknowledge that not keeping fans up to date on when targets are likely to be hit or missed has led to increased frustration from the community.

Also highlighted is events feeling fairly formulaic, with not too much new to do except grind out a pass, along with the lack of new game modes. However, Riot says that’s set to change in 2023. “The good news is we have a modes team which is staffed up and ready to execute,” Lee says with a smile, “In fact just this week we played a prototype for a new game mode, a couple days ago, and it’s really promising – and something that we’re hoping to get out to all of you sometime this summer.”

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Describing the mode, van Roon explains, “This is a mode that involves four teams of two in a series of deathmatch-like rounds, and buy items, level up, and so on between rounds. It’s a little janky, it’s a little rough as a prototype, but we think it’s showing a lot of promise.” He says that the team is hoping to share details and art sometime around March, with the mode planned to come out “around the middle of the year.”

“In addition to that,” van Roon continues, “we’re also making a number of longer-term investments in League, kicking off some much larger projects.” Lee mentions a statement from Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent saying that League in 2023 will see “the biggest year of funding it’s ever had.” Lee talks about investments being made in the underlying technology behind League of Legends, with everything from engine capability and server capacity to art creation and anti-cheat tools included.

The pair sign off the talk with a reiterated promise for improved communication. This means more frequent communication of both big updates and smaller details, along with more news ahead of time including things like event dates. They ask fans to suggest which formats they’d like to see, whether that be blog posts, video updates, or other formats.

“We’re very much listening to your feedback, we’d like to incorporate that into the game. We’re going to keep sharing our thoughts with you and hearing yours in return, of course,” van Roon says in closing, “but we know ultimately that it’s actions, not words, that matter here.”

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